Ossining coach Lauren Riccardi has a policy: miss practice, miss the match; sit out practice, sit out part of the match. That rule applies to anyone, against anyone.
So when junior hitter Madison Strippoli was idle at the team’s last practice nursing a sore shoulder, there was little doubt in Riccardi’s mind that her top offensive weapon would be out for a part of Friday’s match at Eastchester — injured or not.
“The girls understand that we have rules,” Riccardi said.
After getting beaten handily in the opening set, Strippoli returned and made an immediate impact. Ossining took all three sets the junior played in, defeating its Class A foes, 11-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-19.
Strippoli tallied a team-high 12 kills in the match, including nine in her first game. Riccardi also gave praise to setter Katherine Aguilar (40 assists) and libero Selena Drinks (16 digs) in the Pride’s victory, which also happened to come on Eastchester’s homecoming match.
“As a libero, (Selena) covered a lot of the floor. She ran the court and helped her teammates read players (on Eastchester),” Riccardi said. “She controlled the defense and our team.”
Riccardi said that Ossining (5-1), which lost eight seniors to graduated, have developed the chemistry it was looking to build in the preseason. The Pride are carrying just nine girls in total this year, including two seniors and an eighth grader.
“Coaches come up to me all the time like, ‘Is that really all you have?'” Riccardi said. “Those nine girls get the job done; they play harder than a team of 15.”
And while they are a smaller team in numbers, and for the most part, size, the team is jelling stronger than ever, according to Riccardi.
“There’s so much team bonding with these girls,” she said. “They go out for pizza together, have sleepovers, they made t-shirts one night. … My girls play with heart, they play with passion, and they play with love.”
Best of the rest: Shannon McKeon had 21 kills and seven aces in Ursuline’s 26-24, 21-25, 25-17, 18-25, 25-19 win at Yonkers. … Caitlin Perry had 10 kills, seven aces and six digs in Dobbs Ferry’s 25-14, 25-10, 25-22 sweep at Hastings. … Marianna Dallow had eight kills in Maria Regina’s 25-11, 25-13, 25-11 sweep at Aquinas. … Lauren Thaler had 11 aces in Good Counsel’s 23-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-13 win at Sacred Heart. … Patricia Gomez had 14 kills in Gorton’s 25-14, 25-20, 25-18 win at Palisade Prep. … Kristen Sweeney had nine kills in Yorktown’s 25-11, 25-10, 25-18 sweep at Beacon. … Brianna Johnson had 11 aces and 29 assists in Peekskill’s 21-25, 25-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-23 loss against Pawling.
Friday, September 20
Ossining 3, Eastchester 1
John Jay-East Fishkill 3, Panas 1
Ursuline 3, Yonkers 2
Dobbs Ferry 3, Hastings 0
Blind Brook 3, Rye 1
Lincoln 3, East Ramapo 0
Gorton 3, Palisade Prep 0
Yorktown 3, Beacon 0
Maria Regina 3, Aquinas 0
Good Counsel 3, Sacred Heart 1
Ardsley 3, Nanuet 2
Carmel 3, Ketcham 2
Pawling 3, Peekskill 2
Arlington 3, Suffern 1
John Jay 3, Horace Greeley 0
Zacchio’s prediction record today: 7-6
Zacchio’s prediction record this season: 95-32